Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Wal-Mart Commercial  3

Posted on February 24th, 2007. About News and Politics, Ramblings.

I have to blog quickly about a Wal-Mart commercial I just saw, in which the company is striving to create a family-friendly image. They mention that their employees can obtain health insurance for less than $1/day (heard in a voice-over as a woman kisses the top of her infant’s head), among other things. 

My favorite comment was this (in a voice-over as a family is seen at a cookout on their patio): “It’s been said that when Wal-mart comes to town, it’s like getting a pay raise.” The reference they cite is: Global Insight, The Economic Impact of Wal-Mart, 11/2/05 – which apparently attributes savings of $2300/year for working families. I remember when Wal-Mart came to our part of town in Charlotte. Perhaps we would have saved $2300 if we had shopped there, but we were tempted not to by previous experiences with the horrendous lines, the Wal-Mart shopping carts that made their way all of the way across the parking lot to our supermarket in the same shopping center, and the hellacious traffic inching past the store.

A Wal-Mart store is set to open near my mother’s home in Irmo, SC. She said it basically sneaked in when no one was watching. Suddenly, it was announced that Wal-Mart was coming, and homeowners in her neighborhood, who chose to live in that part of Irmo because it is safe and quiet and not amidst chaos, will now have a Wal-Mart store, along with the traffic they wish to avoid. Of course, one could argue that if Wal-Mart is so unwanted, and they force their way in, then people can choose not to shop there, right? This has never made sense to me – why do so many people complain about Wal-Mart’s impact in their areas, but then continue to shop there? I loved the South Park episode – where Wall-Mart (a thinly veiled disguise with the extra “L” in the name) comes to South Park, and the residents voice hatred for it, but they all secretly shop there at night and “will not allow it to be destroyed.”

In this part of the country, residents have struggled to keep Wal-Mart out of their communities. For example, there is not a single Wal-Mart store anywhere within the city of Seattle – quite honestly, because the local residents will not allow one. They enjoy the unique flavor of the city, and I suppose they would rather spend the extra $2300/year than sacrifice the way of life they appreciate.

We’re having a boy!  3

Posted on February 22nd, 2007. About Baby Dodds.

The big ultrasound was yesterday, and Evan and I were so pleased to learn that all looks great with our baby. Brain, heart, arms, legs, spine – everything appears normal. And of course, it was so exciting to learn the sex of the baby – he’s a BOY!  And as far as we can tell, a very cute one.

Here is a profile shot of him. I love his little nose!


We received several pictures, but I’ll just include one other. He was kicking and moving too much to get a good shot of his two feet together, so we had to image them separately. Little toes!


Now, we wait – halfway there. Until we meet again in July, little one.

Boy or Girl?  0

Posted on February 21st, 2007. About Baby Dodds.

Evan and I will undergo our big ultrasound this afternoon to learn more about our baby – hopefully everything looks normal, and we will be able to glimpse at whether we’re having a son or a daughter.  Prior to the test, I took an online quiz that is supposed to predict (based on old wives’ tales) the sex of the unborn baby. I’d say the site got it exactly right:


You have a 50% chance of having a boy.
And you have a 50% chance of having a girl.

And Here’s Why…
You are carrying the extra weight out front, so it’s a boy.
Boys are carried low. You are going to have a boy.
Sleeping in a bed with your pillow to the north indicates that you will be having a boy.
Your feet are not colder than they were before pregnancy. You are having a girl.
You refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread. You are having a girl.
Dad-to-be hasn’t been gaining weight along with Mom-to-be, so it will be a girl.
The maternal grandmother doesn’t have gray hair (dyed or natural), so a girl will be born.
You didn’t have morning sickness early in pregnancy, so it will be a boy.
You are looking particularly good during pregnancy. Therefore, it must be a boy, because girls steal their mother’s looks.
Your chest development has not been very dramatic during pregnancy. You should expect a boy.
Since the sum of the mother’s age at conception and the number of the month of conception is even, it will be a boy.
A needle on a thread held over you belly moves from side-to-side, so it will be a girl.
Your urine is a dull yellow color, so you will have a girl.
You are craving sweets, which means that it is a girl.
Your nose hasn’t changed during pregnancy, which indicates a girl.
You have been craving meats or cheeses, so it is a boy.
Your baby’s heart rate is 140 or more beats per minute, so it’s a girl.
You have no desire for orange juice, so it’s a boy.
You are having headaches, so it’s a boy.
Your belly looks like a basketball, so it’s a boy.
You show them the palm of your hand, so it’s a girl.
You use the body of the mug, so it’s a girl.

Okay, so I’ll admit that I didn’t actually hold a needle suspended by a thread over my abdomen (who comes up with these things??), so I just fibbed on that one. Anyway, we’ll know soon enough!

Almost Halfway There…  0

Posted on February 17th, 2007. About Baby Dodds.

On Tuesday, my pregnancy will reach 19 weeks – and on Wednesday, Evan and I will have the big ultrasound! I am so eager to make sure heart, kidneys, liver, brain, etc appear normal, and then once that is out of the way, we will finally learn whether we are expecting a son or a daughter.  It has been a difficult wait – I don’t know how expectant mothers used to go all of the way until delivery before knowing the sex of their babies, although I suppose they had no other choice and there were not good ways of finding out early. Anyway, I’ll post an ultrasound image this week. It will be amazing to see how much the little one has grown in just eight weeks since my last peek at him/her.

I experienced my first real bout of nausea over the past week, which is unusual in that it usually hits the first trimester and resolves during the second. I felt queasy on rounds last week, but managed to pull myself together. However, on Monday morning, I did not eat breakfast before leaving the house, and when I walked into the VA Hospital’s cafeteria to grab food, the egg smell sent me running for the bathroom. After several fun episodes, my chief resident brought me ice and helped me out of the bathroom (the first time I had tried to leave the bathroom, the egg smell hit again, which sent me back inside). We wrapped a scarf around my face to keep the smell out so I could successfully arrive at my work room. I was also experiencing a headache at the time, so my OB thinks it was likely a migraine.

I am achieving quite the belly at this point. Last night my abdomen felt so stretched and tight that I couldn’t actually believe I was only shy of halfway to the end, knowing there was still a long way to go. It’s so satisfying to feel the baby moving, a sensation that began subtly almost two weeks ago. I look forward to its little kicks during the day, a nice reminder to eat well, exercise, and get plenty of rest (although I’m back at Harborview in March and April, so we’ll see how well the rest thing works out).

Until Ultrasound Day…!!

Australian Prime Minister Critical of Antiwar Sentiments  0

Posted on February 11th, 2007. About News and Politics.

I read an article this morning about Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his critical comments directed towards Senator Barack Obama because Obama wants to end the war in Iraq. Obama has announced that the U.S.’s top priority should be ending the Iraq War and bringing U.S. troops back from the civil war-torn nation.

Howard was quoted as saying: “You either rat on the ally or you stay with the ally…if it’s all right for us to go, it’s all right for the Americans and the British to go, and if everybody goes, Iraq will descend into total civil war and there’ll be a lot of bloodshed.”

So my thought here was – what?! It’s okay for Australia decrease troops (which are pretty minimal to begin with, in comparison to the number of American and British soldiers there), but this guy is angry because an American senator is giving the “enough is enough” speech? If Prime Minister Howard is so concerned about it, perhaps he should send his own people to deal with it. I don’t think he should, for their sakes, but the point remains.

 The article went on to mention:

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, traveling with the senator in Iowa, said Howard’s words were misguided.

“The United States has sacrificed more than 3,000 brave young men and women and $400 billion, only to find ourselves mired in the middle of a sectarian civil war,” he said. “Even Republicans … know that more of the same is only going to attract more terrorists to Iraq and make our country less safe.”

Gibbs went on to say that Howard was not in a position to be overly critical.

“If Prime Minister Howard truly believes what he says, perhaps his country should find its way to contribute more than just 1,400 troops so some American troops can come home,” he said. “It’s easy to talk tough when it’s not your country or your troops making the sacrifices.”

So Obama’s spokesman, thus far, is able to speak candidly. Excellent.

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